It has been about two months since I finished Darth Plagueis, and something about the depth at which its author, James Luceno, has considered the Star Wars galaxy has faded a bit from memory. Today I am about 27 hours from seeing the next installment, Episode VII, and I am struck by the extent to which the collection of stories may become legend. I am convinced that 100 years from now, Darth Vader's helmet and his theme music will remain recognizable. We are in that era we often wonder about. Did Italians have any idea that La Traviata would be now what it was then? These space operas of ours are both popular and flecked with elements of genius. With Star Wars, it is clearly the music, as it is also with Halo, but I digress.
At this moment in time, the latest film in the series has made over a billion dollars worldwide in about two weeks. This is a new class of production, methinks.
If Star Wars should be about anything, then it should be a meditation on the use of force. The Force. You see Anakin Skywalker was 'the One' to bring balance to The Force. In the end he did so as Vader whose extraordinary skill and exceptional experiences gave him reasons to doubt both the Jedi and the Sith. Watching Episode III, even through the bad acting made me feel a great deal of sympathy for young Skywalker's tortured existence. The central deprivation of love which is the discipline of the Jedi only saves them in that Vader has betrayed that discipline in having the twins Luke and Leia. It is his love for Luke that has him dispose of the Emperor, Darth Sidious.
In A New Hope, there is a total of 6 known force users;
Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Palpatine and Vader.
Four are Jedi, two are Sith.
By midway through Return of the Jedi, both Obi-wan and Yoda have fallen, leaving 4 known force users.
Then, when Luke is aboard the Death Star, about to be struck down by the Empire (believed to be the last remaining Jedi and offspring of Anakin Skywalker), Vader saves his son and throws Palpatine into the main core reactor of the Death Star - which stops the assumingly last remaining Jedi from dying and shows there is still good in Vader.
Vader defeated both the Jedi and the Sith - the Jedi in Revenge of the Sith, the Sith in Return of the Jedi - and it is for this reason that he has brought balance to the force; it's just nobody in the films considered to bring true balance between good and evil, you need to eliminate both.
These mechanics can provide drama as the pendulum swings from Sith to Jedi as time goes on and the series goes forward. If those in possession of the property would spend some time examining the effects of the rules of the Sith and the Jedi and their effects on the people of the Galaxy, that would be a useful expansion of the story. So far it has pretty much been all about palace intrigue at the highest level. Only in The Empire Strikes Back could we see how Vader's Army extended its influence to other worlds, particularly Bespin and the exile of Yoda on Dagoba. Still, these were fairly close to the story of the force users, but we did at least see the bald commander who took audible cues from Lando Calrissian three degrees of separation from Luke. As well, those who reported to Jabba were equally far.
There being hundreds of known worlds in the Galaxy, it seems unlikely that there would be but one intrigue of Force users. This is something that must be dealt with head on in the upcoming series. As a long time KOTOR player, fleshing out the differing approaches to the understanding, study and use of the Force has been made manifest in other media. The films should catch up as the saga continues.